380.655.01 | AY 2012-2013 - 1st Term | 4 Credit(s)
TTh 8:30:00 AM
  • Contact Information
    Nan Astone
  • Course Learning Objectives

    Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

    • Explain how the ideas advanced by Davis/Blake and Bongaarts can serve as a unifying conceptual framework for the study of human fertility
    • Distinguish among the “classic” theories of fertility decline
    • Delineate the major avenues by which these “classic” theories have been criticized
    • Identify key concepts from the literature on reproductive decision making
    • Describe how, within particular social and cultural contexts, distal factors such as gender inequality, ethnicity, religion, the family and social class affect fertility through the proximal determinants
  • Course Description
    Analyzes the correlates of fertility levels in societies and childbearing among individuals and couples. Examines classical theories of fertility change at the societal level and contemporary critiques of these theories. Also examines the determinants of fertility at the individual level, with an emphasis on differences in the timing first birth and total family size by social class and ethnicity in developed and developing countries.
  • Intended Audience
    Graduate Students

    Additional Faculty Notes:

    All students welcome.

  • Methods of Assessment
    Student evaluation based on quizzes and exercises.

    Additional Faculty Notes:

    Class Assignments 66%

    Leading Discussion 4%

    Class Participation 30%

  • Required Text(s)

    Additional Faculty Notes:


  • Course Schedule

    Please see the course Session for a full list of dates and items for this course.

  • Academic Ethics Code

    Students enrolled in the Bloomberg School of Public Health of The Johns Hopkins University assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University's mission as an institution of higher education. A student is obligated to refrain from acts which he or she knows, or under the circumstances has reason to know, impair the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; violation of the rights and welfare of animal or human subjects in research; and misconduct as a member of either School or University committees or recognized groups or organizations.

  • Welcome Message

    Welcome to Social and Economic Aspects of Human Fertility; a largely discussion-based seminar course.

  • Course topics


    Fertility Transitions


    Fertility Decision-Making

    Gender Inequality and Fertility

    Differential Fertility

    Fertility Policy

  • Disability Support Services
    If you are a student with a documented disability who requires an academic accommodation, please contact the Office of Student Life Services at 410-955-3034 or via email at